Monday, January 17, 2022

What I Watched in December 2021

I will fully admit to being a mark for superhero films. I am happier than an eight year old that there are dozens of Marvel and DC comic book films out there and I have enjoyed far more of them than average. I find that I enjoy even the weakest of them to a degree, meaning I can find it difficult to understand why everyone else isn’t smiling along with me. But every now and then one of these big screen blockbusters hits me so perfectly and in so many different ways that I feel almost overwhelmed.

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (2021) might be the best film Marvel has yet produced and I am not ashamed to say that I laughed, I cried and it became a part of me. (Yes, that’s a joke – but also true.) It felt as though the animated Spider-Man film INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE had finally opened the door to fully using every resource available and this film took full advantage of it. By bringing in the best of the past films and rolling them together the filmmakers found a way to make one of the most life affirming stories possible. The combining of so many characters and so much background was handled beautifully letting each action scene carry things forward and have massive consequences. Tragedy and joy comingle with each showing the importance of the other. We like these characters – even the villains – and want them to overcome the damage that makes them dangerous. I doubt Marvel will ever be able to top the accomplishment of this extraordinary film but I will continue to enjoy watching them try.

The List

ALIAS NICK BEAL (1949) – 8 (rewatch on Blu) 

OMEGA SYNDROME (1986) – 6 (competent but clunky action film) 

I BOUGHT A VAMPIRE MOTORCYCLE (1990) – 6 (fun and silly but too long) 

DIAL CODE SANTA CLAUS (1989) – 8 (rewatch) 

THE AMAZING MR. X (1948) – 8 (rewatch on Blu) 

TRAIL OF ROBIN HOOD (1950) – 7 (rewatch) (Roy Rogers vs Christmas tree rustlers) 

SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM (1933) – 7 (rewatch on Blu) 

DON’T GO IN THE BASEMENT (1973) – 5 (unpleasant asylum horror tale) 

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (2021) – 10 


DAYS OF VENGEANCE (1967) – 7 (spaghetti western) 

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR (1973) – 8 (rewatch of this excellent Franco drama)

NIGHT HUNTER (2018) – 7 (solid crime story with strong cast) 

FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN (1973) – 6 (rewatch on Blu) 

A LITTLE GAME (1971) – 7 (sharp evil kid thriller set at Christmas – TV movie)

ROBIN HOOD NEVER DIES (1975) – 3 (dull, threadbare Spanish version of the tale) 

1001 NIGHTS OF PLEASURE (1972) – 5 (Margheriti’s Arabian Nights sex comedy) 

BLOOD FOR DRACULA (1974) – 7 (rewatch on Blu) 

SEAS BENEATH (1931) – 5 (clunky early talkie from John Ford – WWI tale) 

GANG WAR IN MILAN (1973) – 7 (Lenzi crime film) 

HUMAN ANIMALS (1982) – 7 (bizarre Spanish post-apocalyptic tale)

DEAD SPACE (1991) – 5 (another Corman ALIEN/ALIEN riff) 

80,000 SUSPECTS (1963) - 9 (excellent Val Guest epidemic thriller/drama) 

STAR TREK – THE MOTION PICTURE (1979) – 6 (rewatch of the director’s cut) 

EVIL ROY SLADE (1972) – 6 (very silly western comedy – TV movie) 





Dr. Dax said...

Nice list!
Your score for Matrix: Resurrection was much nicer than I give, which is closer to 2 or 3.
I too enjoyed Spiderman: No Way Home. Disney/Marvel swung for the fences with this one!

Rod Barnett said...

I've enjoyed all the Matrix sequels but this one least of all. The first two sequels actually made me love the original film even more - this one felt like an unnecessary epilogue.